Latest interview with a youth climate activist, this time from the United States…
1. First a bit about you –
● who are you?
My name is Jerome Foster II, I am a 16 year old climate change activist, I am a
highschool Congressional Intern for Congressman John Lewis, founder and
Editor-in-chief of The Climate Reporter and organizer for the US Climate Strike.
● where did you grow up?
Southeast-side of Washington DC
● when did you first become aware about climate change?
I grew up learning about nature and with the movie Avatar which led me to go to Earth
Day that year led me to find out about the climate crisis.
● what was the process by which you decided to start The Climate Reporter?
I started the climate reporter because I felt the need for the people of the world to be
able to understand the tangible impact of the climate crisis through telling the stories of
the environmental movement and the struggles of frontline communities.
2. Tell us a bit about the Climate Reporter –
● how is it different?
The Climate Reporter is different than most other news organizations because it is run
by high school students which makes the journalism less corrupt to the worries of adults
who search for money.
● what does it want to achieve?
The goal of the climate reporter is two fold: one, to unite the environmental movement
through all forms of media. Secondly, it is to develop a platform for frontlines
communities for become mainstream.
● What have been some of your favourite stories so far?
I can’t possible choose one, every story, every narrative is equally valuable. Also,
remember most of these stories are not happy stories because we are in the middle of a
3. Recently Mary Annaise Heglar wrote a brilliant (imo) piece “Sorry, Y’all, but Climate Change Ain’t the First Existential Threat,” What did you think of it?
So I agree to the fact that the climate crisis is an intersectional movement and that racism is a crisis in itself as well. Furthermore, cI believe that the environmental movement movement deserves unity above all. Not to divide ourselves but to unite ourselves. It is not my job to convince everyone that racism still exists it is my make sure that the policy we create to solve the climate crisis works to reconcile the damages it has done many communities were people of color reside.
4. Tell us a bit about the upcoming climate march in the US – who is organising it (give shout outs to whoever you like). What is the short-term aim? What is the longer-term plan for getting beyond mobilisations that make us feel good towards genuine movement-building.
So on March 15th, an organization called Fridays for Future held a global strike to call action to the climate crisis and is universal destruction to the human race. Over 1.6 million young people participated, and over 100 countries were involved.
5. And I HAVE to ask. You’re interning for a living legend from the Civil Rights Movement, Congressman John Lewis. How did that come about? What can we learn from him and from the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s onwards for the climate movement now?
Interning for Congressman John Lewis is such an honor, I have not had the honor of meeting him yet but I have learned a lot from his staff. I believe in the fact that Civil Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Environmental Rights, it is a right for my generation to have clean air, clean water and no pollution.
These young climate activists, unlike old-school politicians, are our hope. …
Whether it’s Europe’s hottest year on record, unprecedented wildfires in California/Cascadia, unprecedented stalling hurricanes, off-the-chart poor-air advisories, the mass deforestation and incineration of the Amazonian rainforest (home to a third of all known terrestrial plant, animal and insect species), record-breaking flooding in Europe, single-use plastics clogging life-bearing waters, a B.C. (2019) midsummer’s snowfall, the gradually dying endangered whale species or geologically invasive/destructive fracking or a myriad of other categories of large-scale toxic pollutant emissions and dumps—there’s discouragingly insufficient political courage/will to sufficiently address the cause-and-effect of manmade global warming and climate change.
To me, our existence has for too long been analogous to a cafeteria lineup consisting of diversely societally represented people, all adamantly arguing over which identifiable traditionally marginalized person should be at the front and, conversely, at the back of the line. Many of them further fight over to whom amongst them should go the last piece of quality pie and how much should they have to pay for it—all the while the interstellar spaceship on which they’re all permanently confined, owned and operated by (besides the most wealthy) the fossil fuel industry, is on fire and toxifying at locations not normally investigated.
The latter is allowed to occur, because blue-shirted liberals and red-hatted conservatives are preoccupied loudly blasting each other for their politics and beliefs thus distracting attention from big business’s moral and ethical corruption, where it should be focused.
Meanwhile, mindless arguments are made, and stupid-sounding catchphrases are uttered, like “It’s the economy, stupid!”
In short, we’re distracting ourselves from our own burning and heavily polluting of our sole spaceship, Earth.
What is sufficiently universal, however, is that the laborers are simply too exhausted and preoccupied with just barely feeding and housing their families on a substandard, if not below the poverty line, income to criticize the former for the great damage it’s doing to our planet’s natural environment and therefore our health, particularly when that damage may not be immediately observable.